Steel town dying as its people do | The Columbus Dispatch
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#1 May 12, 2011
NY Times disses Weirton! BOOOOO!!!!
.by Maria Qualtire Hamilton on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:31pm.
I FIND THE TWO RECENT ARTICLES ABOUT OUR TOWN VERY OFFENSIVE. THEY WERE TOTALLY ONE SIDED. WHILE WE ARE GOING THROUGH HARD TIMES LIKE MANY COMMUNITIES, THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE. THE "DEERHUNTER" STEROTYPE REARS ITS UGLY HEAD ONCE AGAIN. EVERY WOMEN ISN'T A VICTIM OR A STRIPPER. I AM A 50 YEAR OLD WOMEN WHO WAS RAISED HERE AND HAVE NOT LEFT DUE TO THE FAMILY ATMOSTPHERE. NEIGHBORS WATCH OUT FOR EACH OTHER AND EVERYONE IS FRIENDLY. PERHAPS TOO FRIENDLY AND OPEN WITH REPORTERS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A CERTAIN STORY. IF YOU LOOK FOR THE NEGATIVE - YOU FIND IT. I MET ANDREA MORALES AT THE RECENT HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY. EVERYONE THERE WAS PLEASED THAT SOMEONE FROM THE NY TIMES WAS IN TOWN AND COVERING SUCH A POSITIVE EVENT. IT IS SAD THAT OUR OPENNESS IS BEING TURNED AGAINST US.
additional comment: My father and his father worked at Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel, as did a lot of our parents.They worked very hard to support their familes, build a home and give their children better then they did. So I take offence when people who know NOTHING of our communities or the hard work that residents put into our towns, come in and focus on only the negative and believe they know more about our towns then we do. Being neighbors across the river from Weirton, we share the same pangs here...but we can all hold our heads high and be proud of where we come from and never forget who we are and the great lengths our famililes went to for us. A person in a teaching position last year told my daughter that "the smoke from the coke plant" caused a lot of pollution and problems for the area. I had to explain to my daughter that there were agencies that helped regulate these things...and that "back in the day"...the smoke from the coke plant was a lot worse.. and it meant something good...men were working, there was food on the table, families had health care and life was a bit better then...I asked someone to relay a message to the young student aide, who did NOT grow up here, " I would appreciate her keeping her opinions to herself." BUT we shall over come this as well...to eveything...turn turn turn...when I drive down RT 7 past the Mingo Plant ...I look up, to the tallest stack there is and the light that is atop that stack and I look with pride, because you see...my Father climbed that stack as a helicopter hovered above him with the light and my father welded that light to the stack. I am proud I grew up here in the valley and proud I am raising a family here...I wouldn't do it anywhere else..I miss the mills, as do many, maybe not for all of the same reasons...but it has been part of who we are...so to the journalist of the article and the photographer...I encourage you to return to the valley and come back for the Dean Martin Festival, the concerts at the ampi theatre, The 4th of July weekends in Weirton and the neighboring towns...CAUSE WE AIN'T DEAD YET!! The article in the times targeted an unfortunate aspect of ANY town that has hit hard times whether here or Detroit or anywhere in the USA. Negative breeds negative. I am going out on a positive note and saying this...I love where I live and where I come from...and thank you to the valley and the people who dressed in their mill green, inhaled too much smoke, put their lives in jeapordy...day after day...shift after shift to make this country a better place! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
#2 May 15, 2011
Then we are high school students bailing out as soon as they can, and never coming back?
#3 May 17, 2011
I too grew up in Weirton Wv. My father worked in the Steel Mill, and I grew up in a great neighborhood. We didn't lock the doors, neighbors got together and sat on the patio, and as kids we all fought over who got to sit on the porch swing. That wasn't all that long ago. I graduated from HS in 2001, and these were things that happened when I was 8, and when I was 18. When I graduated I couldn't get out of Weirton fast enough. I chose to go to Marshall University, because I felt that going to WVU, would be like High School all over again. Don't get me wrong, I loved my school and my friends, but it was time for something new. I knew if I didn't get out of Weirton then, that I never would. I was saddened to read the article that was written about Weirton. However, everything that was in that article was accurate. That was the sad part. Drugs are rampant, jobs are few, and hope is gone for our sad little town. The young people of Weirton flee because there is no future there. It makes me sad to think of those that didn't get out. VERY few of them have ever seen any success. They live with their parents, mooch of the state, are on drugs or worse...they're dead from an overdose. This is the reality. I am proud to be from Weirton because of it's history, it's industry, and the hard working men and women of my parents generation. When I go home for Holidays, I hate to venture out into town, because the people that I see are such a reflection of what the town has become. I've lived with the stigma of being from WV my entire life. And growing up I could honestly say that the people I knew from Weirton were educated and hard working. I can't say that now. People would rather go sit in some smoky room and smoke cigarettes and pull on a slot machine and hope to win some money than actually get a job and earn it. I can't take up for a town that doesn't take up for itself. Move in new businesses, if you're not going to use the old Steel Mill tear it down because it's never going to be what it once was not matter how hard you want it to. Be realistic about what is going on there. When I was in high school we all drank, and you'd have a few here and there that would smoke pot. When I went home last, I saw a girl that was two years behind me in school who had sores on her face, burns on her fingers and arms, and she was losing her hair. I couldn't believe this was the sweet girl that I knew in high school. When I'd asked someone what happened to her...they said Heroine, and Meth. HEROINE! and METH! Wake up Weirton, because drugs are a big problem. Stop making excuses and defending something that doesn't exist anymore. Weirton is not safe, it's not clean, it's not drug free. My parents generation is retiring, my generation is either leaving, or slowly killing themselves with drugs, and if things progress the way they are, the next generation doesn't stand a chance and neither does Weirton. So stop making excuses. No one is discrediting the hard working people or the many many MANY soldiers that have come from that Valley...no one. People need to be aware of how dire the situation really is there, and the residents that don't see it need to wake up.
#4 May 27, 2011
I also grew up in Weirton. Weirton Steel was good to me and my family until cronyism reared it's ugly head. Those morons that ran that mill were sitting on a gold mine and they pissed it away by getting greedy! ESOP my a$$!
#5 Jul 1, 2011
I got some bad news for you maria. Even if they do come back for the 4th of July events in the city, they would still be disappointed. Want to know why? Because its Weirton. What does this town have besides drugs, ghettos, shitty parades to look at someones fat kids, and cafes. The articles hit the nail on the head, your all just butt hurt cause you live here. Open your eyes and come out of the sheltered life you call an accurate world view.
#6 Aug 18, 2011
I have to agree with Truth. I grew up in Follansbee. The only thriving industry now (other than WalMart) seems to be these "cafes". Pack it in. It's over.
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